The Mysuru district administration in Karnataka on Thursday issued an order to shut down all tourist activities in Bandipur and Nagarhole sanctuaries due to an increasing number of tourists in the area amid the coronavirus pandemic. Authorities have also imposed travel restrictions in HD Kote taluk.
Mysuru Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G Shankar issued an order on Thursday stating that no tourists from districts outside HD Kote, or other states and countries can enter the taluk until further orders starting July 10. Additionally, tourists will not be allowed to book accomodation, either online or offline.
"Hotels, homestays, lodging facilities and home owners must not rent rooms or homes out to tourists coming from other districts, states and countries to HD Kote taluk, Bandipur or Nagarhole," Abhiram G Shankar's order stated.
DC Abhiram Shankar has warned tourists that those violating orders and entering HD Kote, Bandipur or Nagarhole would be evicted by force.
"All those who have already booked stays and outings are currently being informed that their booking will be cancelled. The number of (COVID-19) cases are increasing in Mysuru district and tourist movement will only increase the probability of the infection spreading," Abhiram Shankar said.
The Deputy Commissioner said that the move was a precautionary measure.
"We have noticed tourists violating physical distancing norms. People are not wearing safety gear when they step outside. Also, those who come in have to undergo quarantine, especially inter-state and foreign traveller, who are not following instructions. Hence, this was done as a precautionary measure," he added.
On Tuesday, Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Anis Kanmani banned entry of tourists into Kodagu district until further orders. Just like Mysuru, the Kodagu DC too ordered hotels, homestays and lodging facilities to not allow tourists from other districts, states and countries to book rooms.
On Wednesday, Karnataka Tourism Minister CT Ravi appealed to people across the country and the state to not crowd tourist areas like Hassan, Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru as these districts too have homestays and tourist attractions.